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Shaw-Walker safe door
Shaw-Walker safe door  
QUESTION: I have an old (maybe 1905ish) Shaw-Walker safe with the brass Eagle combination lock that is missing the first 3 wheels. Is it possible to replace the lock with a complete Eagle combo or replace the missing wheels?

Thank you,

John Cooper

ANSWER: John,

As with any other obsolete item, the answer is a "yes/no" answer.    While, YES you can change it out with a complete Eagle lock, the answer is also NO, they are not available.

There is no aftermarket source for obsolete safe parts.   There simply isn't a big enough market.   While many safe companies strip parts off of older safes when they dispose of them, there is also no listing of available parts - anywhere!   This means that inorder to find this lock and/or a wheel pack - YOU will have to start knocking on ever safe companies doors to see if they have this item.   Sorry no easy way to find it - and I wish there were.

Second problem, as most safe companies keep these older parts for in house repairs, generally they have no inventory of what they have.   They will have to search through boxes of old parts looking for the lock for you.   Unless YOU are a motivated buyer (meaning $$$ to find the lock), they simply aren't going to be interested in even looking.

Options - put together a listing of the dozen or so, larger safe companies through out the US, and hundreds of smaller safe companies - and start sending out requests for the lock.   And/or start searching for a second safe to buy to use as a donor safe to get the parts you need.

I wish the answer were better or easier, but it isn't.    Years ago, we tried starting an association to address just these issues, however in order for an association to function and/or serve as a "central focal point" for listings, etc.  it needs $$$$$ to operate.   As the majority of the group weren't interested in actually spending any money to belong, it only lasted for around 5 years before being found in the fish bowl belly up.   We've tossed the idea around to try and revive it several times, to no avail as of today.

Well, those are your options, if you have any other questions concerning these parts, I would be happy to try to answer them.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I had a feeling these parts are no longer available. Our lab does have a cnc mill and lathe and I think that we're just a 3D printer away from being able to fabricate a space ship.

I could consider making duplicates of the one wheel we do have. But are they different? And if so, where? Hill's Brothers Lock and Safe said the lock was a low security type and the current selection of locks has a larger footprint which would require drilling new holes in the safe door. A do-able task but the last resort. It does seem strange that the lock footprint and bolt pattern is no longer being used.

Thank you for your time,

John Cooper

Answer
John,

There you go - a positive attitude, I like that.    Most people don't have the equipment to fabricate the necessary parts.

I'll have to look through my photos to see if I have a photo of the wheel pack, which might help you - can't guarantee anything though.   Send me an email to:    andy@securitysafeusa.com   along with a reminder of what you are looking for.   I'll check my stuff when I get in the office monday or tuesday.

As far as the lock "foot print" no longer being used - this was NEVER a standard to start with.   Shaw Walker adapted THAT particular lock for their use.   It would be kind of like asking WHY don't auto makers still use the Studebaker design any more?????

The "larger" lock foot print is NOT the problem, as it would be a simple task to drill and tap new lock mounting holes, the proble is the spindle hole/lock alignment.   The current spindle hole would not line up, and allow the lock to work with the bolt work.
Besides new mounting holes, a new spindle hole would be necessary, as well as moving the dial and dial ring.   Also if the lock was recessed into a cavity in the door, this cavity may have to be modified as well.

Shaw Walker is on my listing of "POSSIBLE" manufacturers to have used asbestos as an insulation material.   As you may be required to drill, or cut into the insulation media, I would HIGHLY recommend having the insulation tested prior to cutting into it, to ascertain whether or not YOUR safe contains this HAZMAT item.   If you don't have a local testing agency that can check your sample material, you can pick up a "home test kit" from most hardware stores and/or CVS Pharmacies.   You can also get it on line at:     http://www.prolabinc.com/asbestos-test-kits.asp

All modifications are very do-able, if you have the skills and hand tools, and would save you considerable time and effort over looking for the Eagle lockset, and/or fabricating new wheels and parts.  

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.

Experience

44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes". Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Organizations
Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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